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Not to be confused with demonetisationWikipedia.

Demonization (or 'demonisation,' as it is spelt in British English) is an argumentative strategy, often employed in political contexts, whereby one group consistently paints a rival group as evil, corrupt, bent on their enslavement or destruction, or engaged in various other forms of malevolence. Such a strategy is quite good for whipping up lynch mobs, quelling internal strife 'in the face of the common threat,' and stifling the usual twinges of conscience most people experience when mistreating others. Demonization is often aided by and sometimes requires the use of otherism.


  • One of the long-standing examples of demonization is anti-Semitism.
  • The early 21st century has seen increasingly virulent anti-Muslim sentiment in the West, largely since the events of 9/11.
  • People of Hispanic descent are often demonized by US politicians. Anti-Hispanic rhetoric was a central strategy in US President-elect Donald Trump's 2016 campaign; for many in the US, Hispanics have become a scapegoat for joblessness and other economic woes, not to mention Trump's infamous "criminals, drug dealers, rapists" line.[1]
  • Conservative talk radio depends on the demonization of liberals (and even moderates) for most of their material; barring said demonization of moderates, similar can be said of some left-leaning radio as well.

See also[edit]


  1. Donald Trump’s false comments connecting Mexican immigrants and crime by Michelle Ye Hee Lee (July 8, 2015) The Washington Post.